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Dusty beats in Sotra: Seja is undoubtedly Soweto’s best kept secret with his innovative lo-fi production style

Producers have risen. Producers are not complacent. Producers, be it a trap producers or lo-fi beats producers, are no longer waiting for rappers or any other vocalists to get a break or a shot at success in the music and entertainment industry. It is like a revolution of sorts, a necessary resurgence that has been a long time coming. Producers are taking to the internet in hopes to own their destiny and get the recognition that they deserve. The cry from all corners of the world is the same: we make the music that forms part of the soundtrack of your life, without us music cannot move.

A lane has been created, platforms have been created and the producer culture is growing and getting stronger. South Africa is no stranger to these developments, particularly with the issue of producers not receiving the recognition they deserve. Talented kids from different backgrounds are fearlessly sharing their art with world using music as a medium that affords them a sense of creative freedom. Electronic music is now one of reigning genres in South Africa and the influence is seen in other popular genres in the country, like Hip Hop and Rhythm & Blues. But with that being said, there are smaller scenes bubbling under in the producer space. One of them being, the lo-fi and dusty breaks scene. A small community, mostly internet-based, that is going against the grain with how they choose to produce. The production often sounds hazy, dusty and old-school and is perfect for a lazy day, great as study music and just vibes. The scene is often closely linked to the Anime culture, which often attracts young, often introverted and reclusive youth.

READ: The rise of the lo-fi beats movement and the resurrection of casette tape culture.

The lo-fi scene has the seen a tremendous amount of growth over the last few years and this is due to the re-introduction of physical formats of music – cassette and vinyl. Nowadays digital audio workstations allow producers to create beats that one could make using analogue equipment. This is what 19-year-old Soweto-based producer, Seja, uses to create his beats. You could easily mistake his music for music made by seasoned producers like Knxwledge, Ohbliv, Budamunk and Dibiase. Heavily influenced by underground Hip Hop, with a foundation in House music, Seja creates groundbreaking lo-fi beats. This is seen in his recently dropped project titled fade in.outs, an exploration of sounds ranging from jazz, soul and funk. The sampling on this project is world-class and probably the best we’ve heard from a South Africa producer.



Stream the project below: